View of New York Harbor from Weehawken, From the Dueling PlaceView of New York Harbor from Weehawken,
From the Dueling Place, 1837-1847
Edmund C. Coates (1816-1871)
Oil on canvas
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Stephen C. Clark, N0197.1961. Photographed by Richard Walker.
This painting offers a view of the Hamilton-Burr dueling grounds in Weehawken, New Jersey, just across the Hudson River from Manhattan. The lawn in the foreground is the area in which the duel may have taken place. Coates includes a broad sweep from the Battery and the tip of Manhattan to the Narrows and the shores of Staten Island, effectively capturing the scale and breadth of New York harbor.
The waterfront at Weehawken has long since been developed, but a monument to the Burr–Hamilton duel is located nearby.
Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton, ca. 1806
William J Weaver (1759-1817)
Oil on wood
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Stephen C. Clark, N0413.1955. Photographed by Richard Walker.
This likeness is one of several that Weaver did in about 1806, in response to the demand for portraits of Hamilton after his death. Weaver actually used a polygraph to trace Hamilton’s profile (working from a published print) and created identical copies. For years these likenesses were thought to have been done during Hamilton’s lifetime. However, Hamilton is depicted with a single star on his epaulet, signifying the rank of brigadier general, a rank he never held. He was made major general (which merits two stars) by President John Adams, at George Washington’s request, in 1798. Scholars agree that Hamilton never would have consented to be depicted with an inferior rank.
Alexander HamiltonAlexander Hamilton, 1816-1817
John Henri Isaac Browere (1790-1834)
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Stephen C. Clark, N0232.1940. Photographed by Richard Walker.
John Henri Isaac Browere was most well-known for his life and death masks of prominent political figures. In this case the portrait is not a mask. Browere sculpted it after Hamilton’s death, working from a miniature painted in 1794 by his teacher Archibald Robertson.
Washington at Princeton, Fall of General Hugh MercerWashington at Princeton, Fall of General Hugh Mercer, 1855
Oil on canvas
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Jean and Howard Lipman Collection, N0042.1961. Photograph by John Bigelow Taylor, NYC.
Alexander Hamilton was an artillery commander at the Battle of Princeton in 1777. Legend has it that Hamilton sent a cannonball from the college yard through a portrait of King George II in the chapel. After the victories at Trenton and Princeton, Washington personally wrote to Hamilton asking him to be one of his aides-de-camp.
Major General Baron Frederick William August von SteubenMajor General Baron Frederick William August von Steuben (1730-1794), 1786
Ralph Earl (1751-1801)
Oil on canvas
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Gift of Stephen C. Clark, N0198.1961. Photographed by Richard Walker.
Major Von Steuben served under President George Washington as Inspector General of the Continental Army. His effective drill methods turned the ragged patriots into a disciplined military force. Steuben, with the help of his friend Alexander Hamilton, created the Blue Book, a training manual for the Continental Army which saw use through the War of 1812. Congress awarded Steuben the tribute of a silver-hilted sword and 16,000 acres to retire on in what is now known as the Village of Steuben, New York.
Abigail AdamsAbigail Adams (1744-1818), ca. 1795
Oil on canvas
Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, Bequest from the Estate
of Frances J. Eggleston, Oswego, New York, N0150.1955. Photographed by Richard Walker.
First Lady Abigail Adams was the wife of President John Adams and the mother of President John Quincy Adams. John valued Abigail’s advice deeply, both during his term as the country’s first Vice President and as its second President. Abigail shared John’s distrust and animosity for Alexander Hamilton and warned her husband to be cautious of him. Hamilton’s pamphlet detailing his extra-marital affair with Maria Reynolds confirmed Abigail’s belief that he was a salacious man.